About this frog cake
If you couldn’t tell, I love making frog-shaped desserts. And I also love matcha. So of course I combined my two favorite things again, but in the form of a cake instead of cookies or donuts.
This matcha frog cake is actually pretty easy to whip up, and yields a soft, spongy, not-so-sweet cake. And even better, the frosting only requires a few ingredients: heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and food coloring.
And full disclaimer: I’m definitely still a beginner when it comes to making cakes, especially since this is only my third or fourth one. But, I had a lot of fun making it and I hope you do too! 🙂
How to make the cake batter
I started off by whisking the matcha powder and oil together in a large bowl until it was smooth. Then, while whisking, I slowly poured in the milk. Once this was combined, I whisked in one yolk at a time, then set this mixture aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, I added the egg whites and granulated sugar, then immediately used a hand mixer on medium speed until I reached stiff peaks. (Note: To check if your egg whites are at the stiff peak level, remove the whisk and turn your bowl. The peak of the egg whites should be able to hold its shape, even if the bowl is held upside down.)
In the large bowl with the oil, matcha, milk, and yolk, I sifted in the cake flour and used a spatula to fold it in. Then, I gently folded in the fluffy egg white mixture 1/3 at a time, until there were no more white streaks. During this step, make sure not to overfold or your batter will begin to deflate.
I poured the batter into a sprayed and lined 6-inch cake pan. I baked the cake at 350°F/177°C until a toothpick came out clean when inserted into the center, about 25-30 minutes. After letting the cake cool in the pan for a few minutes, I removed it and let it fully cool on a wire rack.
How to assemble and bake the frog cake
I actually baked this cake a day in advance and decorated it the next day. I wrapped the fully cooled cake layer in plastic wrap, then stored it in the freezer. Then, I removed it from the freezer about 15-30 minutes before I wanted to work with it. This is because working with chilled cake layers make crumbcoating a lot easier.
For the frosting, I whipped up powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla until almost stiff peaks. I cut my cake in half, added a layer of frosting, then placed the second half of the cake on top. Then, I turned the cake on its side so the cut sides were touching the cake board, and crumbcoated the entire cake. I then placed the cake in the freezer for about 10 minutes, while I worked on the colored frosting.
To color the rest of the whipped cream, I used oil-based food coloring. I put ~ 1 tablespoon of the frosting into a small bowl, and mixed in pink coloring for the blush. Then, to the remaining frosting, I added a few drops of green food coloring and folded it in.
For the eyes and smile, I actually used a combination of powdered sugar, water, and black food coloring to make icing. I found that my brand of oil-based black food coloring was too weak and only made things appear light gray, which is why I went the powdered sugar + water icing route.
You can watch the video below to see how I frosted the cake! Make sure to store the cake in the fridge or cool area, or it might start to melt.
Matcha Frog Cake with Easy Whipped Cream Frosting
- 6-inch cake pan
For the cake batter:
- 1 tbsp matcha
- 1 tbsp neutral oil, I used canola
- 3 tbsp milk, I used almond
- ⅓ c granulated sugar (66g)
- ⅓ c cake flour (38g)
- 2 eggs, egg whites + yolks separated
- ¼ tsp salt
For the frosting:
- 1 ½ c heavy whipping cream (360g)
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- green and pink oil-based food coloring
For the icing (eyes + smile)
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar (15g)
- ½-1¼ tsp water
- black food coloring
For the cake batter:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C. Spray a 6-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together together the oil and matcha powder until smooth.
- While whisking, stream in the milk, mixing until the milk is fully incorporated.
- Add in one egg yolk into the same bowl at a time, whisking in between, until the batter is smooth. Set the bowl aside.
- In a medium bowl, add in the egg whites and sugar. Immediately use a handmixer to whisk the egg whites until you get shiny, stiff peaks.Note: In the beginning stages of whipping, the egg whites will look foamy/bubbly. Then, a soft white color -> soft peaks -> stiff peaks. The eggs have reached the stiff peak stage when you remove the whisk, move the bowl around, and the egg white peaks have stayed in the same place, even if the bowl is held upside down! It should not be runny at all.
- In the large bowl with the oil, matcha, milk, and yolks, add the salt. Sift in the cake flour and use a rubber spatula to fold it in, until no dry spots remain.
- Gently fold in the egg whites, ⅓ at a time, until there are no white streaks left in the batter. Make sure not to overfold the batter, which will make it deflate.
- Pour the batter into your cake pan and bake until a cake tester/toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake, about 25-30 minutes.
- Let the cake cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then remove and transfer the cake to a wire rack to let cool completely.Note: If you are assembling the cake another day, feel free to wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. Let it thaw at room temperature 15-30 minutes before you want to use it. This will actually make crumbcoating and decorating a bit easier in comparison to using fresh cake, which might crumble more.
For the frosting + decorating:
- Whip the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl, until medium stiff peaks.
- Cut the cake in half, putting one piece to the side. Place the other piece on a cake board on top of a turntable. Using an offset spatula, smooth out a layer of frosting. Place the second half of the cake on top.
- Turn the cake over so the cut sides are touching the cake board. Crumbcoat the cake with the frosting, using an offset spatula or scraper to even it out. I like to use acetate scrapers to get rounded sides.
- Place cake in freezer for about 10 minutes. This will make it easier to add on the next layer of frosting.
- Reserve about one tablespoon of the frosting and add pink food coloring to make the blush for later.
- To the remaining frosting, add enough green oil-based food coloring to get the shade you want for the frog. Remove the cake from the freezer and frost the entire cake with this color.
- For the bases of the eyes, fill a ziploc/piping bag with some green frosting. Cut a large tip and pipe on 2 big dollops on the top of the cake.
- Use a toothpick or cookie scribe to add the pink blush.
For the icing (eyes + smile):
- Mix together the powdered sugar, water, and black food coloring. Add more water if it's too thick, or more powdered sugar if it's too thin.
- Add the icing to a ziploc/piping bag and cut a small tip. Pipe on the eyes and smile.